Release 5 Update & Instructions

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DarkStarr, Apr 23, 2014.

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  1. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Hello Everyone,

    Thank you to our loyal backers of Shroud of the Avatar. Release 5 access for all backers at First Responder level and above, and those with Weekend Access Passes, begins this Thursday, April 24 at 10:30 AM Central Time. Release 5 access will end on Sunday, April 27 at 10:00 PM Central Time. Starting today, you can begin installing and patching (see instructions below), but login will not be enabled until Thursday morning.

    We are happy to report that we were able to add a bunch of new content and features, while iterating on existing ones. However those deliverables didn’t quite end up matching our original goals. The sheer scope of getting skills working, while also responding to R4 feedback, made us radically shift focus for Release 5. Below are the original R5 deliverables, along with some extra notes and new deliverables in italics.

    RELEASE 5, April 24 - 27, 2014:
    • Combat and Magic Skills: Finally you will no longer be confined to auto attack now that a wide array of combat and magic skills will be at your disposal. To let you test out a wide variety of these skills we will give you a bunch of skill points to allocate up and down as you wish. This allocation of points will automatically build your deck. Skills can be locked in your toolbar or left unlocked so they can be used in combos during combat.
      • 35 (of 171) Skills: Here is the skill list for R5. Most of these are in a very simple first state so some of them are missing secondary effects, like movement (Trip, Tumble, etc.), speed (Ice Fist), etc.
        • Blades:
          • Thrust
          • Double Thrust ("double swipe")
          • Whirling Blades
        • Bludgeon:
          • Crushing Blow
          • Knockback
        • Heavy Armor:
          • Defensive Stance
          • Inner Strength
        • Light Armor:
          • Dodge
          • Tumble
        • Medium Armor
          • Glancing Blow
          • Trip
        • Polearms:
          • Push
          • Puncture
        • Ranged:
          • Aimed Shot
          • Disabling Shot
          • Piercing Shot
        • Shield:
          • Deflect
          • Shield Bash
        • Air:
          • Gust
          • Discharge
          • Lightning
        • Death:
          • Death Touch
          • Death Ray
          • Corpse Explosion
        • Earth:
          • Stone Fist
          • Root
        • Fire:
          • Flame Fist
          • Fireball
        • Life:
          • Heal Self
          • Healing Ray
          • Purify
          • Resurrection
        • Sun:
          • Light
          • Searing Ray
        • Water:
          • Ice Fist
    • Linear Lighting Model: As part of an ongoing effort to improve our visuals we have have switched from gamma lighting to linear lighting. This makes a lot of the details in our textures more visible but it has required us to touch every shader, texture, lighting setting, etc. in the game. Note that this is still a work in progress.
    • Add On Store Conversion (Website): Our backers now have the ability to convert their add on store purchases into credits that can either be applied to their pledge or used for other add on purchases (this feature available on website).
    • Weekend Access Keys (Login): We added functionality to support weekend access to potential backers
    • Journal: Results of conversations with the characters in our world will now appear in your Journal. This should aid questing tremendously without going as far as exclamation points overhead.
    • Crafting: We have increased the number of starting recipes to give players a wider array of recipes so that discovery can be more intuitive.
    • Compass: Navigating through our scenes can be quite challenging so we have added an on screen compass to help guide you around
    • Overland Map Polish: We continued iterating on the overland map. We added panning and zooming, animating objects (waves, windmills, etc.) and visibility of your party members
    • Combat Floaties: For those of you craving more information about what exactly is happening in combat we have added combat numbers that appear overhead during combat if you have Names Overhead toggled (via the N key)
    • Health Bars: Discerning status from the health dot alongside the name in R4 did not work for many of you so we have moved to a more traditional health bar
    • New Creatures:
      • Chest Mimic
      • Skeleton Archer
      • Satyr Mage
      • Satyr Archer
    • Traditional Combat Shortcut Bar: While we are still heavily committed to card style combat we quickly realized when playtesting this very early version that we don’t yet have enough supporting features (deck building, skill locking, etc.) in place to make it fun.
    • AFK Mode: When you type /afk or you are idle for a while your character will sit on the ground and [AFK] will be appended to the character name
    • New Vale Scenes: We shifted focus to more Vale scenes so we could create a more complete area of the game (replacing placeholder maps) versus proceeding to the main map.
      • Kingsport Sewers: An intense adventure area under Kingsport infested with the undead!
      • Standard Scenes: No more placeholders!
        • Road through the forest
        • Road through the grassland
        • Road through the hills
        • Grassland
      • Player Forest Village Variation 2: We used this plus Forest Village 1 to create a total of 10 Player Towns on the Vale
    • Player Housing: We have added 12 new player houses (4 Rustic, 6 Wood & Plaster, 2 Duke Castles) and as mentioned above we increased the number of locations that players can place houses to a total of 13. That raises the number of lots to around 600. With that change we have decided that for R5 we will no longer impose a time limit on ownership.
    • Death System: OooOoooOOOOooo! Death will now turn you into a ghost. Current thinking about the death system will be shared at a later date.
    • Main Continent Scenes: Finally players will get to see their first maps on the main continent including a city that is part of the story, adventuring areas, and a player town.
    • Interactive Areas: Don’t you wish you could move that chair in the tavern to have a better view of the front door? Public areas like taverns will now be flagged as interactive areas. This will allow more freedom in those spaces by allowing the moving but not taking of items.
    • AI Behaviors: NPCs will now start to have schedules and change behavior according to the time. This will include things like going around turning on the lights around town as the sun goes down. NPCs will also now react to players taking and breaking stuff so watch out when you try to steal that loaf of bread!
    • Books: Books will no longer just be decorative objects! Read lovely poems and stories written by our very own community in the game. Try to collect them all!
    So now that it is clear what you can expect, we should also be as clear about what you should not expect:
    • Combat: Combat does not yet include random dealing, decks, combos, or advancement.
    • Performance: We have only done rudimentary optimizations and we do not yet have a full suite of performance fallbacks (LODs, etc.). This means the game will be quite slow on older machines, and due to memory usage, might be unstable in certain conditions (like densely decorated areas). With each release we will be doing further optimizations and adding to our fallbacks to improve performance.
    • Crafting: The crafting system is in the game as a framework, but is still missing some key components like repair, events, and enhancement. Skill checks are also not in yet, so results are always 100% successful. Long term, the percentage chance to make items will depend on a myriad of variables and can result in a variety of results including: making the item desired, making a simpler version of the item that will need to be enhanced, or making a damaged version of the item that needs repair.
    • Game Loop: Release 5 is a further iteration on our rudimentary game loop, but it is still very bare bones. Expect this to expand with each subsequent release but it won’t be truly complete until we hit Beta later this year
    • Advanced Player Housing: There are some advanced features for player housing, including waterfront properties, basements, home exterior decorations, and ceiling decorations that are not yet integrated. Expect to see these appear in future releases.
    • Visual Quality: Efforts to improve visual quality are ongoing. This started last release with increases to our art staff (especially in animation) and continued this release with the switch to linear lighting. Next steps include looking at different shaders we can composite (relief, detail, etc.), adding more triangles to meshes to catch light better (like the flat dungeon walls) , replacing animations that came with purchased assets (wolves, bears, etc.), revisiting avatar mesh proportions, skin shaders, hair, etc.
    Here are links to instructions and known issues. Thank you again for your continued support. This is truly the most amazing community we have ever worked with and we are proud to be on this journey with you.

    Sincerely,
    Starr Long
    aka Darkstarr
    Executive Producer

    Read the instructions in German
     
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  2. Lord Andernut

    Lord Andernut Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    Excitement!
     
  3. Straynger

    Straynger Avatar

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    *Happy Dance*
     
  4. rune_74

    rune_74 Avatar

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    This sounds awesome.
     
  5. Amber Raine

    Amber Raine Community Ambassador (FR)

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    ~happy dances with Stray and proceeds to look for ladder to get on top of the tesla tower~ :p

    Thank you DarkStarr and the rest of the devs for all your hard work, it is so much appreciated!

    • Death:
      • Corpse Explosion
    Suddenly i sense the high priestess will be having much fun with -order- folk ;)
     
  6. jiirc

    jiirc Avatar

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    Nice job. Were there any new recipes added?
     
  7. Bow Vale

    Bow Vale Avatar

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    Life skills needs nerfing, they have 4 skills to others 3 or even 2. Nerf them please !! :)

    Seriously though looking forward to seeing all the skills, lots more than i imagined this release. The new improved lighting and the new scenes as well and the compass all stand out to me.
    Shame on no advanced housing, but hope i can have a look again at the placed static basements as you had them in R4.
     
  8. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    No new recipes this round. Too much time focused on combat
     
  9. Sir Seir

    Sir Seir Avatar

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    Thanks DarkStarr! Look forward to this round and 35 is a healthy number of skills to get in on the first round :)
     
  10. rune_74

    rune_74 Avatar

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    But so many people said you weren't working on combat;)
     
  11. Sir Seir

    Sir Seir Avatar

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    So combat will consist of a static "hotkey-like" setup then?
     
  12. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    correct. Temp solution until we get more deck features in
     
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  13. Sir Seir

    Sir Seir Avatar

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    Okies, thanks :)
     
  14. Mata

    Mata Avatar

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    Ich bin auch schon ganz aufgeregt.
    I am also very excited and I have forgotten all about "Aunt G." ask to translate. :D ;)
     
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  15. enderandrew

    enderandrew Legend of the Hearth

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    They're only working on player housing and ignoring the entire rest of the game because they don't care about the single player experience, don't you know? :rolleyes:

    That's the problem with alpha level access when people aren't used to seeing games in alpha state.
     
  16. Aartemis

    Aartemis Avatar

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    @Darkstarr - Since there won't be any "Skill-Dealing", does putting more then 1 point in a skill actually do anything (since there is no skill "deck"), or will skills disappear after you use them or what?

    Just have to say, great job on the call to hold off on a system that is not fun, nor a positive element because it is incomplete. IMO It would do more damage to introduce something like this before it is ready. With all the pressure of the community watching (and sometimes whining/flaming) it's good to see the Wise Judgement of this team in action. It strengthens my resolve in why I backed the project in the first place. Also, great job keeping the Combat system as the Priority and pushing off the non-combat deliverables. Well Done Indeed!

    Huzzah!
     
  17. Jatvardur

    Jatvardur Avatar

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    Did you manage to squeeze in trading? I didn't see it mentioned in the OP but hoping you managed to get it in.

    If you didn't that's fine. You have a lot to sort out, but it would have been awesome if you had it in.
     
  18. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

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    I have to say that I am a bit concerned about your shift from the idea of an immersive game with next to no or at least very minimalistic UI elements to something that goes more towards standard MMO features. Richard Garriott initially didn't want to have health bars and floating numbers and now the game changes to the exact opposite... Maybe I am wrong but it seems that every release is going more and more in favour of standard MMO elements, neglecting more and more of the features that would have made SotA unique. I understand that those elements are optional but they give a huge advantage to those who use it - especially in PvP. So if I would fight in PvP I would be forced to enable health bars and floating numbers in order to stand a chance. Also if I am part of a group I can only be an effective member if I enable health bars and floating numbers to use tactics etc. So I would have to give up on immersion in order to compete with other players and be an effective party member. What happened to the idea to see the damage you deal to an enemy by the wounds on his body?

    I can't help myself but to think that you seem to get most feedback about such features from typical MMO guys with Dev+ status which makes me worry even more about the single player aspects of the game...
     
  19. enderandrew

    enderandrew Legend of the Hearth

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    I'm hoping for options here so players can have the level of UI they want.
     
  20. Eriador

    Eriador Avatar

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    I like how that sounds!
     
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